Pendragon PLC, the UK's leading online automotive retailer, is celebrating a double success as two of its female leaders were announced as among the most influential British women in the automotive industry.
Corporate Services Director, Hilary Sykes, and Head of Marketing Communications, Victoria Finn, both made it into the list of 100 names.
An initiative by Autocar, the Great British Women in the Car Industry project has been set up to encourage more women into the automotive industry and to address the challenges they face in both entering and progressing in it.
Released today, the announcement follows an event held by Autocar in central London to debate and discuss the issues involved. The initiative is backed by Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Direct Line Group, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover. Additional support comes from Gaia Innovation.
Nominated within the Executive category, Hilary is the only female Executive Director within a UK PLC motor group, and has been closely involved in the Pendragon group's expansion for over 30 years. A veteran of all things legal for motor franchising, as well as her role within the Executive team, Hilary is a long-term supporter of the wider motor retail industry, through the RMIF's National Franchised Dealers' Association. Hilary was an external corporate lawyer for the Group before joining as Company Secretary in 1994, becoming a Director in 1999.
Nominated within the Communications category, Victoria was recognised for her work in the company since joining in 2006. Rising through the ranks to take her current position in 2014, Victoria leads communications and marketing projects for Pendragon PLC, including Evans Halshaw, Stratstone, parts business Quickco and Pendragon Vehicle Management, the company's fleet and leasing side.
Hilary comments: "I am honoured to be recognised within this listing of the Top 100 Influential Women. I come across so many talented and dedicated women working in the automotive industry and should like to see more progress in removing barriers to their career progression. This initiative is an excellent way to demonstrate that the opportunities are there for women within the automotive sector, which is, unfortunately, so often considered to be a male orientated world. It would be great to see more women progress careers within this industry and I hope this listing helps provide some inspiration."
Victoria comments: "I am honoured and surprised to have made it into a list of such inspiring and influential women! The automotive industry is, admittedly, male dominated, but hopefully such great initiatives like this will make young women see the wealth of opportunities available in the industry and encourage them to pursue a career. Equality is a huge part of our values here at Pendragon PLC and I look forward to a future where more women lead the way in the industry."
Jim Holder, Autocar's Editorial Director, comments: "We have started this event to stimulate debate about the attractiveness of the industry we love to work for everyone. At present, women are underrepresented in the automotive industry, but we believe that a positive focus on the numerous opportunities that a career in the industry can offer can have a real impact on reversing that trend."
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